Classification of Residency
Your residency status, in-state, out-of-state/international, or New England Regional Student Program, is determined through the admissions process, based on the information you provide on your application. A student’s residency status determines their tuition and fee billing rates. Massachusetts residents are eligible for in-state tuition and fee billing rates at Massachusetts public higher education institutions. Residency status does not typically change for the duration of your studies. Exceptions to this are outlined in the Residency Reclassification Application (see link in box below).
The rules and regulations surrounding residency in Massachusetts are set by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. If a person relocates to Massachusetts to attend a college or university, this action supports the intent to pursue an education, but it is not considered intent to establish residency for tuition and fees purposes. The regulations state "residency is not acquired by mere physical presence in Massachusetts while the person is enrolled in an institution of higher education." To be reclassified as a resident, an enrolled student must live in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student) for 12 months immediately preceding his/her enrollment or re-enrollment to attend an institution of higher education. However, there are some circumstances where a student may apply for a change in residency and, with appropriate documentation, be approved for a change in residency status.
For questions about residency status as a prospective student, or as an admitted student who has not yet started classes, please contact either Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions. The information below about residency reclassification applies to current and returning/readmitted students.
Current or returning/readmitted students who consider that they meet exceptions to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s residency classification rules can check on details of exceptions and apply for residency reclassification by completing the Residency Reclassification Application (see link in box below). Applicants for residency reclassification are responsible for submitting all documentation to support a claim. The final decision will be based solely on the submitted documentation with qualitative rather than quantitative emphasis. A number of factors are required to determine residency. No single document is decisive. The burden of proof rests on the student seeking reclassification.
Residency reclassification applications from currently enrolled students, or students reenrolling after a period away from the university, are received and reviewed by the Provost’s Office and as needed, the Residency Appeals Committee. At the bottom of this page are FAQs that include two categories: (1) questions about qualifying circumstances for reclassification, and (2) questions about the reclassification application.
The most common circumstances that qualify for residency reclassification are:
- The student qualifies based on their relationship to a third party, a parent/legal guardian or spouse, who meets the residency requirements, or
- The student takes a break in enrollment of 12 months and remains in Massachusetts as a traditional resident (not a student), supporting themselves independently during that time, and can provide appropriate confirming documentation.
We also proudly welcome U.S. military active duty members and veterans and their family members who qualify:
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are stationed in Massachusetts on active duty, pursuant to military orders, and the member’s spouse and dependent children, are eligible for in-state residency classification.
- Eligible participants in the Massachusetts National Guard 100% Tuition and Fee Waiver program and the Welcome Home Bonus are considered Massachusetts residents for tuition purposes (even if their home residence is in another state), however, this may not be the case for Financial Aid purposes; please contact the Financial Aid office for more information.
- In accordance with the Veteran’s Access Choice & Accountability Act of 2014, military veterans, spouses, and dependents residing in Massachusetts are eligible for in-state residency classification if they begin classes within 3 years after the veteran has been discharged from active duty with more than 90 days of service.
Submission and review of residency reclassification applications
Any student who, after reviewing all the details regarding Massachusetts residency for this purpose, feels that they have a basis to request a residency reclassification should submit that request by the deadline date for that semester (the first day of classes). A request for a reclassification consists of the Residency Reclassification Application (see link in box above) and all requested supporting documentation that is attached to it.
The Residency Reclassification Application (see link in box above) is a form that is submitted via the DocuSign process. As part of the form, you will be asked to upload documentation. You will need to prepare a single file to upload your documents. It is not possible to upload multiple pages individually.
In order to provide proof of filing U.S. taxes, print your IRS tax record (called a transcript) via a request online or by mail at this IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript.
All questions regarding residency reclassification should be sent to email@example.com.
I moved to Massachusetts for my higher education and have been in school for the past year. Can I change my residency to in-state from here forward?
Most students do not qualify for a change in residency status once their residency status has been established during admission before you start attending. Residency is determined by where you were living 12 months prior to starting your higher education in Massachusetts - or if you are considered a dependent of a parent or legal guardian then where they were living 12 months prior to you starting your higher education in Massachusetts. You cannot switch to in-state residency status, for tuition and fees, if you moved to Massachusetts for your higher education. It does not matter if you have a lease or buy a place to live, have a job in Massachusetts, pay Massachusetts taxes, have a Massachusetts driver’s license, or have your car registered in Massachusetts - none of these make someone a resident for the purpose of residency reclassification for tuition status.
I transferred to UMass Boston after initially attending another higher education institution in Massachusetts which I moved to Massachusetts to attend. Since I have now lived here for more than 12 months, do I qualify for in-state tuition?
No. Your residency is determined by where you lived 12 months prior to starting your higher education in Massachusetts. If you did not live in Massachusetts for 12 months prior to starting school at your previous institution or qualify for in-state residency there, then you do not qualify for in-state tuition at UMass Boston.
I am active duty military. I am currently stationed in another state/country and due to be discharged soon. I plan to move to Massachusetts. Will I be eligible for in-state residency?
Most likely yes. There are also other U.S. military, veteran, and National Guard qualifications possible for in-state tuition status. You will need to provide documentation. Please see the Residency Reclassification Application for details.
When I enrolled at UMass Boston I started living with my aunt and she has lived in Massachusetts for much longer than one year. She will provide any documentation needed for me to get in-state residency. What can she provide?
Informal arrangements with family or friends are not evidence of residency. Unless there is a legal guardianship relationship, you cannot be granted in-state status based on her residency status.
I am a student on an F1, F2, J1 or J2 visa and have lived in Massachusetts for more than a year. Can I be considered in-state residency for tuition and fees?
No. Students on these visa statuses are not eligible for in-state tuition no matter how long they have resided in Massachusetts.
I came to UMass Boston as an international student on an F1 visa. I have now been granted permanent U.S. residency. Can I qualify for in-state student status?
A change to permanent resident will change your residency status from international to out-of-state student, but not to in-state student status. Becoming a permanent U.S. resident does not in itself qualify you for Massachusetts residency. However, you should review the residency materials to see if you could possibly qualify for in-state status. For example, if your permanent residency was based on marriage to a valid resident, you might be able to qualify based on your spouse, or if you are a dependent student and your parent(s) qualify as Massachusetts residents, you might qualify based on their status.
Even though I started school right after I moved, I also moved to moved to Massachusetts to take a full-time job here. Or, I moved here because my parents or spouse moved to Massachusetts for a job. Do I qualify for in-state tuition?
If you (or your spouse) relocated to Massachusetts for employment purposes, or if your parent or legal guardian moved to Massachusetts, then this may qualify for in-state residency classification. You will need to provide evidence of the employment-related relocation (yourself or spouse) or your parent/legal guardian's relocation.
I attend highschool in ME, NH, VT, CT, RI or another place, but my parents live in Massachusetts. Will I be eligible for in-state classification?
As long as you are a dependent of your parents, you will be classified as a Massachusetts resident. Additional documentation may be requested to support this claim.
My parents are divorced. I have one parent who resides in Massachusetts. Am I eligible for in-state classification?
Yes, so long as one parent has resided in Massachusetts for 12 months prior to you starting your higher education in Massachusetts, or if they relocated to Massachusetts due to employment, you will qualify for in-state residency if you are a dependent of at least one of your parents. You will need to provide documentation that will include your Massachusetts parent’s current mortgage/rental agreement and the last federal taxes filed (amounts may be redacted). Additional documentation may also be needed. Note: You do not need to be claimed by the Massachusetts parent as a dependent.
I have in-state residency but my parents are moving out of state. Will my residency status change?
No, if you remain continuously enrolled (Fall & Spring semesters only) your residency will not change. If you take a year or more off, your residency will be re-evaluated upon your return to school and could potentially change.
My parents own a vacation property in Massachusetts. Can I base my residency status on that property?
No. Vacation property does not qualify someone for residency. Residency is based on permanent domicile.
I live in Connecticut. How do I qualify for the New England Regional Student Program (NERSP) discount?
Eligible students are coded as NERSP as their residency status as part of the admissions process.